Housing policy AWOL on the trail

Both Democrats and Republicans mum on foreclosure crisis

From the October issue: Call it the political elephant in the room: 1.2 million families across the country are now at some stage of foreclosure, 3.8 million homeowners have been foreclosed upon since September 2008, 11.4 million are underwater on their mortgages, $6.5 trillion in home equity has been lost by owners since 2005 and home building and sales are intimately linked with job creation, yet the subject of housing policy was virtually a no-show in either the Democratic or Republican conventions or in the party platforms.

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Given the huge impact that the housing and mortgage crashes have had on millions of voters and workers, you would think housing would have been high on both parties’ priority lists. They’d say: Okay, here’s how we’re going to turn this crucially important situation around — getting builders building again to pre-boom historical levels, helping out the good folks who paid their loans on time even when underwater, plus making sure banks make loans available to credit-worthy buyers who want a mortgage rather than penalizing them for the banks’ past mistakes. [more]